I am married to a wonderful woman and have three beautifull kids.I study at Trinity College, Bristol pursuing a MLitt/Phd in the New Testament. I am interested in the writings of N.T. Wright, the ‘quest for the historical Jesus’ and the New Perspective on Paul.
A few years I was teaching at an inner city high school in Leeds. I loved my job, loved the kids I was teaching and the colleagues who I was working with. Yet, here I am a few years later training to be a vicar at Trinity College, Bristol.
You may ask, why the change? It is certainly not because I think that only vicars are doing full-time Christian work for I believe that God, who is Lord over all spheres of life, calls people people to engage missionally in the world in all aspects of life. God is calling people to work for him as butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and inner-city teachers.
I suppose that I would have to say that my move towards ordination stems from a number of factors including discernment, obedience and skills. I had to obey where I believed the Lord was leading. This wasn’t as simple as receiving an e-mail from heaven, but was obedience to a constant refrain in my life, a still small voice, confirmed by others, which said ‘Jon, be a servant of the Church’.
After several years of discernment, which included rebellion and repentance, I concluded, with the help of my Director of Ordinands and local church, that God was leading me to work in the Church of England. I was fully involved in my local church at St. James, Horsforth in Leeds which allowed me to hone and develop skills which increased my confidence that my path to ordination was indeed the one I should follow. I felt that God was forming and shaping me to communicate his glorious gospel to those inside and those outside of the Church.
At college I am pursuing a Phd in biblical studies alongside my ordination training. It is great to be in a church which gives academic study its place, and it is my desire as a future Vicar to fuse together a missional mindset in which heart, mind and hands can be used to proclaim the greatness of Jesus.
As a family, I am married with 3 young and beautiful kids, it is turning out to be a great adventure.